When the early alarms were sounded, the Indonesian government dismissed them as hysteria. Now, as government officials are being infected, the government is acting in a hurry. The beacons were lit. But, nobody cared.Continue reading “The beacons were lit, but nobody cared: Covid-19 and the Indonesian response”
In Note #6, I briefly discussed Mahan and Corbett’s views on naval power. What I neglected to cover was, what I call, “small navy” strategies. These are essentially naval strategies used by a weaker power against a stronger power. I’ll be covering the Jeune Ecole and the fleet-in-being strategy. Most of what is written here is a summary of Ian Speller’s Understanding Naval Warfare, Chapter 3.Continue reading “Le’ Notes #46: “Small navy” strategies – a short summary”
These are thoughts that have been fermenting for a very long time (around 2 years or so). They’ve been nagging me a lot, but it is only that I’ve finally managed to gather them in a relatively coherent manner. So far, these thoughts only existed on paper, in the private journal that I always carry around.
Earlier in 2019, I was working on an article on the role of community organizations in extremist deradicalization in Indonesia. The premise was simple: state-based deradicalization in Indonesia has not always lived up to expectations. Maybe community-based initiatives can pick up the slack. I was writing the article in tandem with two other senior academics. As the junior in the group, I did most of the work. Once the first draft was finished, we sent it in for review. Then came the naturally long silence that I expected in academia. I used the three-month silence to work on my first conference paper and other things I’ve either picked up willingly or been thrusted upon. (Update: that article is now published in Journal for Policing and Counterterrorism [paywall])
At the conference, I felt it was a holiday. I didn’t have any teaching obligations. I didn’t have to work on anything else. All I had to do was attend panels I liked and present my paper. Other than that, I could practically do anything else. It was there where I met my professor from my Master’s days and we did a bit of catching up. The following conversation happened. It happened a while ago, I may have mis-remembered some details.Continue reading “What is expected of academics?”
Short note on Mahan’s thoughts on naval preponderance.
Mahan surprisingly wrote a bit on naval diplomacy though he didn’t actually call it such; it was something that academics would later describe. Most of his thoughts on naval diplomacy are not found in his famous work, The Influence of Sea Power upon History. Instead, it is found in a collection of his stand-alone articles in various periodicals which have been compiled under the title The Interest of America in Sea Power.
Though Mahan tends to be associated with the idea of the “big fleet battle” and the six conditions for sea power, he also thought about how navies could be used to project political power (well, in this case, American power). However, his prescription for “naval preponderance” tends to be overshadowed by his geopolitical thinking. To extract a sliver of Mahan’s thoughts on “showing the flag”—an idea often credited to him (see here and here)—requires careful scouring of his article titled “The Isthmus and Sea Power”.Continue reading “Le’ Notes #45: A.T. Mahan on naval preponderance”
This SemText summarises Geoffrey Till’s talk at CSIS Jakarta regarding the strategic uses and importance of islands in Southeast Asian maritime security.
Since 2013, China had embarked on a mission to create artificial islands in the South China Sea. In their view, these islands are markers of sovereignty; they mark Chinese influence over the maritime expanse of the South China Sea. Based on satellite data compiled by CSIS AMTI, many of these islands are already equipped with military installations.
So, one question that could be asked: What’s up with islands? That is what Professor Geoffrey Till addresses in his lecture. I took the liberty of adding some points to his explanation, as he typically delivers his lectures in a very general manner.
Simply put, there are two main parts of the lecture. First, he talked about the geographic importance of islands and how they contribute to maritime power. Second, he focuses on the emergence of new technologies and how this encourages a shift from “open ocean” operations to the littoral. This is supplemented with a review of trends in naval development in the Indo-Pacific, though it wasn’t too in-depth.Continue reading “Geoffrey Till – The strategic importance of islands”
The year 2020 kicked off with a major bang. The United States assassinated General Soleimani, bringing the two countries closer to the brink of war. In the Southern hemisphere, Australia’s bush fires continue to blaze and Jakarta experienced its worst flood in decades. At sea, however, is where tensions are more evident, particularly between Indonesia and China.
Since 19 December 2019, 65 Chinese fishing vessels have trespassed into Indonesia’s Exclusive Economic Zone off the Natuna islands. The Natunas are located just outside of China’s Nine-Dash Line (9DL for short). Though Indonesia is not an official claimant in the South China Sea dispute, the Natunas EEZ proximity with the 9DL makes it easy for Chinese fishing and Coast Guard vessels to trespass.
This is not the first time Chinese vessels have encroached Indonesia’s EEZ. Three similar incidents occurred in 2016 in March, May, and June respectively. The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodged a formal diplomatic note in response to the March incident. The June incident involved hot pursuit and warning shots by the Indonesian Navy, which prompted a stern response from China.Continue reading “The recent Natuna standoff and Indonesian responses”
I’ve decided to split the Thoughts & Coffee column. Previously, the column was intended to contain my commentaries, but I’d like to have a place to organize a weekly curated feed of news based on my interests. To kick off the column, I decided to begin by going through the naval exercises that happened in October.Continue reading “Over Coffee #1: October 2019 in Naval Exercises”
What can we expect from Indonesia in Jokowi’s second term? In this post, I summarize President Jokowi’s inauguration speech and try to analyse what Indonesia’s foreign policy in the future would look like.Continue reading “Jokowi’s Second Term: More Domestic than International”
This is a rejected commentary piece, which I thought would be better posted here than being forgotten on my hard drive.
Recent achievements of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in the Caribbean include the recent establishment of diplomatic relations with Barbados and the first full-fledged diplomatic visit to Suriname after 26 years in 2019. Looking from the MOFA’s performance report in 2018, the Caribbean seems to have gained renewed attention having been absent from foreign policy discourse since the Yudhoyono administration.Continue reading “Sketching out Jokowi’s Caribbean economic strategy”